A rhyme or rime is the association of words with similar sounds, a technique most often used in poetry. (Indeed, "a rhyme" is sometimes used to refer to a rhyming couplet or short verse; see nursery rhyme.) The term has also been applied (as "sight rhyme") to words which are similar only in their written forms.
The concept of rhyme and its role in poetry vary considerably in different cultures. In English, and most European literary traditions, it is the final vowel/consonant combination that are repeated across the rhyming words. Categories of rhyme include:
- masculine: stress on final syllable of word. Eg "rhyme", "sublime", "crime"
- feminine: stress on penultimate syllable of word. Eg "wiki", "tricky", "sticky"
- triple: all three of a three-syllable word stressed equally
- perfect: identical in sound
- oblique (or slant): imperfect match in sound
- consonance: consonant match. For example: her, dark,
- assonance: vowel match. For example: shake, bait
- sight (or eye): similarity in spelling although not sound. Eg "cough", "bough"
- imperfect: rhyming a stressed and an unstressed syllable. Eg "den" and "siren"
- ''Dies irae, dies illa
- ''Solvet saeclum in favilla
- Teste David cum Sybilla
In French, the rime riche "rich rhyme" of two syllables — and rime richissime "very rich rhyme" of more syllables — have been admired in the past. Here is an extreme example of rime richissime, spanning an entire verse:
- Gall, amant de la Reine, alla (tour magnanime)
- Gallamant de l'Arène à la Tour Magne, à Nimes.
- Gallus, lover of the Queen, went (magnanimous gesture)
- Gallantly from the Arena to the Great Tower, at Nimes.